Before the advent of color film, black and white ruled the world of photography. Because the black and white image is inherently a departure from reality, photographers were free to use various methods and techniques to create images according to their own artistic vision. No one ever questioned the drama of a black sky. Once color film came on the scene, it seemed that photography leaned more toward the literal recording of the scene in front of the camera. But black and white photographers continue today to be free to manipulate their images, darkening or lightening areas, changing contrast, using various developers, etc. to create a final print that simulates their initial vision without any stigma attached to the work for being altered. Color photographers however, were and are today, always brought under fire if their work seems a little too “colorful”. Since the introduction of digital recording and various computer software that allows almost limitless manipulation, every color image now comes under the microscope for evidence of that manipulation.
I’m not quite sure why color photography receives so much more scrutiny than does black and white. After all, in either case, isn’t the process of creating an image to do so through the artistic vision of the creator using all the tools available? Making a black and white from a color image is done through the use of some of those tools, similar to the time when there was only black and white film.